1 Samuel 20:1-42
And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is my iniquity?…
I. THE PRINCELY FRIENDSHIP.
1. An unselfish and self-denying avowal. He had soon to learn by experience, and he must have known the fact then, that to befriend David was to displease Saul. Yet is there no faltering in his fidelity. However contrary the waves may be, he changes not the vessel's head; undeterred, he abides faithful. Calumnies and adulations change him not.
2. The religious character of this friendship is forced upon us. He begins with a covenant. Are any friendships worth cultivating whereupon we may not ask the Divine blessing?
3. Such a friendship was not only the affection of a man. He drew the power to thus "love on" from the Great Source of Love.
II. THE PURPOSE THIS FRIENDSHIP SERVED.
1. God gave David a friend at court.
2. Another purpose the friendship of Jonathan served was to strengthen David's faith. During his exile, especially in the early past, when his fortunes changed so suddenly, David's faith became clouded. It is his voice that exclaims, "There is but a step between me and death." The strong confidence is breathed by Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:14, 15). When pressed almost beyond endurance and weary with continual flight, it is Jonathan who directs the trembling heart to God (1 Samuel 23:16, 17).Lessons:
1. Sanctified friendships are God's hands of guidance. Such lead us always to Himself and never from Him.
2. Friendships formed for social or temporal gain are akin to traffic and bargain driving on the Temple floor, and must end in ruin. That is no real friendship which fails to lead us to God.
3. True friendships are stable. Human alliances are as fragile as the flowers the frost has traced upon the window, which melt away before the pure beams of love or the heat of trial from within. All friendships that are worth anything must begin with a covenant.
(H. E. Stone.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life?